There’s been mumblings and rumors, some of which I have originated, regarding a remarkable new device soon to be released. Well, seems Transparent have decided to spill the beans for real with their release of Mind Workstation 1.5 which contains specific support for the new six-channel light control protocol, SpectraStrobe, which is used by the MindPlace Kasina.
Some time back I wrote a post called “Wishlist” where I suggested features that may be desirable in an AVS device. Not all of them were mutually compatible and many were of little interest to me. I knew at the time which ones I cared about (actually I already knew the Kasina was all I ever wanted, having been involved in its development for quite some time).
I’ll write a full review when the product is released but for now…
Kasina is a very stylish white console with high-brightness left/right RGB Ganzframe and earbuds. At its core Kasina is an MP3/WAV player with an easily swappable 8Gb SD card. Operation is mainly via an elegant 5-button navigator and a clear and informative color LCD display.
An exciting feature of Kasina is it’s user upgradable firmware. Like the Procyon, Kasina will change and evolve new features. Over the time I have known Kasina I have been astonished at the skills of the hardware/firmware engineers and the speed with suggestions have been implemented. Be assured, Kasina is the result of a lot of input from a good number of real AVS experts. MindPlace, as always, is a pleasure to work with.
SpectraStrobe is a substantial advance on the general technique used for AudioStrobe. As most of you know, AudioStrobe uses a pair of 19.2kHz signals to control left/right or bicolor Ganzframes. SpectraStrobe knows all about AudioStrobe and can then go on to detect the additional signals (18.2kHz, 18.7kHz, 19.2kHz and 19.7kHz). Spectrastrobe is an open standard allowing sessions to be created by a variety of means. Obviously Mind Workstation is a good choice, but even audio software without specific SpectraStrobe support can be readily used. Many of the references I have made in recent posts regarding 6-color control with MuLab have related to custom presets for the Kasina.
Kasina will be shipping with a heap of sessions covering just about anything you could wish for.
As much as I dislike cable tangle, I have realized that the downside to the devices that are wireless, or relatively so, is that they are limited in their capabilities, offering little scope for the enthusiast/experimenter. I gladly untangle cables to enjoy the limitless expression that Kasina offers. Kasina is powered by a rechargeable battery and can also run of USB power.
As if the convenience of MP3/WAV is not enough, Kasina also has Auxilliary Audio-In and functions as a true USB sound card if so connected to a PC, all modes allowing AudioStrobe or SpectraStrobe.
Methinks Kasina is going to be something of a game changer. I have successfully driven it using all manner of software, including BioExplorer and a couple of other EEG packages, various DAWs and synthesizers (notably MuLab) and direct generation of SpectraStrobe signals from my own programs. Out of the box it provides everything I believe to be relevant or interesting in terms of AV stimulus – the experimenter will find new realms opened.
In due course there will be a Kasina forum on the MindPlace Support site – I’ll be looking forward to seeing you there.